Bass Fishing Massachusetts: 12 Best Fishing Spots in MA

With a vast array of lakes, rivers, and ponds dotting the landscape, Massachusetts is a paradise for both seasoned fishermen and beginners alike. In this guide, we’ll take a look …

With a vast array of lakes, rivers, and ponds dotting the landscape, Massachusetts is a paradise for both seasoned fishermen and beginners alike.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the 12 best fishing spots across the state, each offering its own unique blend of relaxing natural beauty and promising bass-filled waters.

Whether you’re seeking solitude amidst tranquil bass fishing lakes or the pure excitement of reeling in a trophy-sized bass, these fishing locations are sure to be just what you hoped for on your next fishing trip.

Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Massachusetts

Largemouth bass are the most sought-after gamefish in Massachusetts and are abundant in various lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and slow-moving rivers throughout the state. They are known for their impressive size, with some reaching weights of over 10 pounds.

Largemouths prefer shallow, weedy areas with plenty of cover like submerged vegetation, fallen trees, and rock formations. Popular largemouth bass fishing spots in Massachusetts include Lake Quinsigamond, Lake Chauncy, and Lake Wachusett.

Smallmouth, while not as abundant as largemouth bass, can still be found in several water bodies across Massachusetts. They are known for their aggressive nature and acrobatic jumps when hooked, providing a truly exciting fishing experience, especially for beginners. 

Smallmouth bass prefer clearer, cooler waters with rocky bottoms and faster currents. They are often found in rivers and some larger lakes. Some of the top smallmouth bass fishing locations in Massachusetts include the Connecticut River, Quabbin Reservoir, and the Chicopee River.

12 Best Places for Bass Fishing Massachusetts: Lakes, Ponds and Rivers

1. Lake Quinsigamond

Lake Quinsigamond bass Fishing Massachusetts

Located near Worcester in Central Massachusetts, Lake Quinsigamond spans 772 acres and straddles the border between Worcester and Shrewsbury.

It’s very easy to access from various public boat ramps and fishing piers, ensuring there is a wide range of opportunities for both boat and shore angling.

Lake Quinsigamond is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow and white perch, tiger trout, brook trout, and many other game fish species, offering a range of chances to catch these beautiful fish.

Some of the best ways to catch fish at this lake are by casting plastic worms, crankbaits, and topwater lures near weed beds and submerged structures is an effective technique to entice largemouths.

2. Lake Chauncy

Lake Chauncy bass Fishing Massachusetts

Situated in Westborough, Massachusetts, Lake Chauncy covers 239 acres and provides a very peaceful and relaxing fishing environment. There are plenty of access points for shore angling, while small watercraft such as kayaks and canoes are permitted on the lake to catch fish.

Largemouth bass dominate the waters of Lake Chauncy, with smallmouth bass being easy to find as well, making it a prime destination for bass enthusiasts. You can also find white and yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseeds, brown bullheads, pickerel, golden shiners, and many other exciting species in this small lake.

Some of the best and most productive fishing methods here would include soft plastic creature baits and jigs, worked around fallen trees, and submerged vegetation. This can yield impressive catches of largemouths in a decently short amount of time, especially during the spawn season when fish are eager to eat or defend nesting grounds.

3. Lake Wachusett

Lake Wachusett bass Fishing Massachusetts

Located in Central Massachusetts, Lake Wachusett is a sprawling 3,000-acre reservoir, offering ample fishing opportunities for bass in both largemouth and smallmouth, rainbow and brown trout, bluegill, black crappie, white perch, yellow perch, and many other species.

Access to Lake Wachusett is available for smaller bass boats, canoes, and kayaks, and shore angling is permitted in designated areas and at docks or piers dotted around the lake.

For the best results in catching largemouths, try using weedless plastic worms or spinnerbaits around rocky points and submerged structures. For smallmouth fish, crankbaits and jerkbaits in deeper water near drop-offs have given me the best results overall.

4. Connecticut River

Connecticut River bass Fishing Massachusetts

Stretching along the western border of Massachusetts, the Connecticut River is one of the state’s most significant water bodies and has a length of more than 400 miles. You can access various fishing spots along the river from public boat ramps and shoreline spots, catering to both boat and shore angling enthusiasts.

The Connecticut River boasts excellent smallmouth angling opportunities, attracting anglers from near and far. You can also find sturgeon, northern pike, walleye, perch, and a variety of smaller fish here as well. 

During the spring and fall, smallmouth can often be found near submerged rocks and eddies. Using soft plastic tubes and jerkbaits can entice them to come out from hiding and strike with speed and aggression, giving anglers of all skill levels some great results when fishing here.

5. Quabbin Reservoir

Quabbin Reservoir bass Fishing Massachusetts

Situated near Belchertown, Massachusetts, the Quabbin Reservoir is a sprawling 18,000-acre water body surrounded by vast forested lands. Boat fishing is permitted on the reservoir, but it is essential to comply with specific regulations since some boat types may be restricted to certain areas. Shore angling is limited but only allowed in a few spots.

Smallmouth bass are the main fish in the Quabbin Reservoir, providing a fun and exciting fishing experience for anglers of all skill levels. You can also find largemouths in smaller numbers, as well as lake trout, perch, and various other species.

To get the best results, try fishing with soft plastic finesse worms and drop shot rigs near rocky shores and points. This can prove to be extremely successful for catching smallmouth bass and perch.

6. Chicopee River

Chicopee River bass Fishing Massachusetts

Flowing through Western Massachusetts, the Chicopee River offers a picturesque setting for bass fishing. Shore fishing is the most accessible method on the river, but you can also use small watercraft in certain sections of the river to access areas further away from shore.

This river is renowned for its smallmouth bass population, promising exciting angling opportunities for beginners as well as experienced fishermen alike. Small crankbaits and inline spinners will be extremely effective in this river’s clear water, particularly when targeting smallmouths near rock formations and deeper pools.

7. Long Pond

Lakeville Long Pond bass Fishing Massachusetts

Long Pond, also known as Lakeville Long Pond, is one of the largest natural ponds in Massachusetts, situated in Lakeville. Shore angling is possible from various public access points, while small boats and kayaks can be launched from a few designated areas around the 1,721-acre body of water.

You’ll find a huge population of largemouth bass fish here, with these large and active fish providing an enjoyable fishing experience. Working plastic worms and jigs around submerged logs and weed beds can lead to quick and successful bass catches.

8. Lake Cochituate

Lake Cochituate bass Fishing Massachusetts

Located near Natick, Massachusetts, Lake Cochituate is a 625-acre surface area lake offering various recreational activities, including some truly excellent bass fishing. You can access the lake from several public boat ramps and fishing piers, as well as enjoy shore fishing from several designated areas.

Largemouth bass offer exciting opportunities for most anglers. Casting buzzbaits or topwater frogs near lily pads and other thick vegetation can give you some impressive largemouth catches, especially during the early morning or evening hours.

9. Housatonic River

Housatonic River bass Fishing Massachusetts

The Housatonic River flows through the scenic Berkshire Mountains, offering a tranquil setting for smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing, especially in the early summer months. Shore angling is possible from public access points along the river’s banks, and some sections are able to be accessed with small watercraft.

The river is home to both smallmouth and largemouth bass fish, as well as striped bass, lake trout, pike, bluegill, perch, catfish, pickerel, American eel, and many other species providing a diverse fishing experience.

Using crayfish imitating crankbaits and soft plastic crawfish around submerged rocks and boulders can attract both smallmouth and largemouth bass, as well as a few other opportunistic species that call this river home.

10. Quaboag Pond

Quaboag Pond bass Fishing Massachusetts

Quaboag Pond, located near Brookfield, covers a 574-acre surface area and provides a beautiful and relaxing fishing environment. Shore angling is allowed from public access points, and small boats and canoes can be launched from designated areas.

Largemouth bass thrive in Quaboag Pond in very large numbers, making it a popular bass fishing destination. You can also find northern pike, yellow and white perch, sunfish, pickerel, crappie, bullhead, and some other species.

Fishing with plastic worms and creature baits around submerged brush and fallen trees can lead to successful largemouth catches. This will also entice many species you may not be immediately searching for, making it a great option for beginners to get some angling experience.

11. Charles River

Charles River bass Fishing Massachusetts

Flowing through the Greater Boston area, the Charles River offers a unique urban bass fishing experience with a unique and scenic backdrop of the cityscape. You can access the river’s banks from various public parks and fishing spots throughout the metropolitan region.

Healthy populations of both largemouth and smallmouth bass can be found in the Charles River, providing exciting fishing opportunities for any anglers that love catching bass. You can also find a range of other fish, including sunfish, crappie, perch, redfin pickerel, pumpkinseed, chain pickerel, common carp, and more fish.

Some of the best fishing methods here include using soft plastics, jerkbaits, and swimbaits around bridge pilings and other structures that can attract bass in this urban waterway. One of the biggest benefits here is that a large number of fish in the river are very bold and willing to strike even unfamiliar looking baits and lures. This is an excellent fishing place to test out a new lure or fishing technique.

12. Lake Lashaway

Lake Lashaway bass Fishing Massachusetts

Lake Lashaway, near East Brookfield, covers a 293-acre surface area and offers a peaceful bass fishing environment for beginners just learning how to fish, as well as experienced professionals. Shore angling is permitted from public access points along the shoreline and is great in the summer months, while small boats and kayaks can be launched from designated areas around the lake. Larger boats are normally either forbidden entirely or limited to very specific areas depending on the season.

Largemouths and chain pickerel are the primary focus in Lake Lashaway, providing a classic big bass fishing experience. You can also find a few other species, including bluegill, black crappie, and perch.

Casting spinnerbaits and shallow diving crankbaits near submerged vegetation and brush can result in successful largemouth catches. Diving crankbaits are also very popular with panfish, so if you’re trying for some of those as well, crankbaits are the best option.

What’s the Best Spot for Trophy Bass in Massachusetts?

When it comes to searching for trophy-sized bass in Massachusetts, one of the best spots renowned for producing big largemouth bass is the Quabbin Reservoir. Located near Belchertown in Central Massachusetts, the Quabbin Reservoir covers a vast expanse of approximately 18,000 acres and offers you a unique and scenic fishing experience.

The Quabbin Reservoir is well-known for its carefully managed fishery, which has resulted in the growth of some truly impressive largemouths. The conservation efforts and size regulations have allowed the bass population to flourish, producing a healthy number of trophy-sized fish. 

Even for beginners, it’s not uncommon to catch largemouth bass exceeding the 8 to 10-pound range, making it a top destination for those seeking a chance at landing a true lunker.

Keep in mind that fishing in the Quabbin Reservoir requires adherence to specific regulations, including restrictions on boating and certain fishing methods. Access to the reservoir is primarily limited to boats, and there are designated launch sites and fishing areas.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or an eager-to-learn beginner, the thrill of potentially hooking into a massive bass in the beautiful surroundings of the Reservoir makes it a must-visit destination for bass fishing enthusiasts in Massachusetts.

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Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.
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